The Hunt: Stylish White Blazers for Work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Awwww, we haven’t gone on a hunt for white blazers since 2013 — let’s see what’s out there now. For my $ .02, the white blazer can be a great staple for spring and summer, instantly freshening and lightening up any outfit. The trick, of course, is to get one that doesn’t make you feel like you’re playing doctor for the day. To that end, I’ve always avoided the “classic blazer” shape for white blazers — if it has regular lapels, odds are good you’re going to feel like you’re wearing a lab coat. (But not always, of course — if you’ve already got a white blazer with lapels that you love to wear to work, by all means, go on wearing it!) Similarly, a shrunken blazer tends to avoid the “doctor” vibe much better than a hip-length blazer. With all that said… there are a ton of those blazers (hip length! with lapels!) out there in stores right now, so if you’re wearing that kind of white blazer, do share some of your styling tricks with us. 

Readers, are you fans of the white blazer for work for summer months? (I’ve tried to include jardigans and sweater blazers in today’s Hunt, but didn’t find many — have you found one in the past that you love?)

Ok — I feel like we’re starting this Hunt strong, as one of the cutest blazers is also one of the most affordable — I love this blazer from JCrew Factory! It’s available in sizes XXS-3X, it’s machine washable, and the blend of cotton/linen is certain to be breathable. I like the bracelet sleeves, the sleek, collarless look, and yes, the poms. 

This collarless blazer is fully lined, and I love the black detailing along the edge — just enough for some definition. It’s $ 72, and available in regular and petite sizes 0-14.

This sweater jacket from Boden is definitely more on the “cardigan” side of things, but I feel like the red detailing and pockets put it in “sweater blazer” territory. The wide open weave should be nice and airy, and I like the casual vibe. It’s $ 110, and available in sizes XS-XL. Other knit/jardigan-y options include this ivory sweater jacket from Talbots, this roomy sweater blazer from J.Crew (also at Nordstrom), and this “open blazer cardigan” from Nic + Zoe.  


While doing this Hunt I saw a lot of higher end versions of basically this look — long, collarless, with hook and eye closures. (For example.) I like that this Talbots linen blazer comes in regular, petite, plus, and plus size petite size ranges — all for $ 159-$ 179. 

A little tweedy goodness is a great way to move away from “lab coat,” and I’m loving the fringe details on this Ann Taylor blazer. It’s available in regular and petites up to size 18  – regular and petite up to size 18 — and (whoa) is machine washable. It’s $ 169.

There are much more expensive white blazers to be had, but I think we’ll round out this Hunt with this $ 245 option from Of Mercer — I like the tweed fringe, the “hint of metallic thread” as well as the “fusion of uptown class and downtown cool.” (It’s also machine washable — and made in NYC!) It’s available in sizes 00-14, in white and black. 

Readers, how are you styling white blazers for work — and have you bought any recently?

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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Making Opportunity Zones Work for Black Communities

The IRS and the Treasury Department recently released a second set of proposed regulations on the federal Opportunity Zone program, which was created by the 2017 tax law to spur investment in economically distressed census tracts.

The Opportunity Zone law provides significant long-term tax benefits for investors who put capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds, investment vehicles set up to deploy funds into eligible property and businesses in designated Opportunity Zones.

Most Opportunity Zones are in majority black and brown neighborhoods, giving rise to concerns about risks of gentrification and displacement of low-income families from their neighborhoods if the program does not adequately protect the interests of existing residents. Some worry that struggling communities will continue to be left behind, while outside investors enjoy the rewards of Opportunity Zone tax preferences.

As this debate plays out, those concerned about ensuring the democratization of the benefits to be provided by the law should be strategic about making the most of the potential benefits, rather than simply throwing up our hands in despair. Through creativity and collective action, black and brown investors and social entrepreneurs can make use of the most favorable aspects of the Opportunity Zone legislation to launch innovative investing initiatives aimed at building wealth in our communities.

Long Timelines for Acquiring Capital Gains

At face value, possessing capital gains is the minimum requirement to take advantage of the tax incentives in the Opportunity Zones program. This ultimately creates an effective barrier to entry for many black and brown people. Capital gains are generated by sales of stock, other equity interests or assets, or real estate (generally investment properties, since the first $ 250,000 of proceeds from sale of a primary residence is not recognized as capital gains).

However, the long timelines built into the legislation provide an opening for participation down the road, even for those not currently sitting on unrealized capital gains. Investments made within a 10-year period of the Opportunity Zone’s designation can potentially reap tax benefits until 2047, provided the regulatory requirements are met. This offers a substantial time period for generating capital gains over the short or long term for later Opportunity Zone investment.

opportunity zones

Fully interactive Opportunity Zones map available here from 

Collective Action to Build Wealth

So much of the black experience in America has been about the organizations that connect our community, such as churches, black fraternities and sororities, and service clubs. These groups have played crucial roles in various social movements throughout our history.

The Opportunity Zone legislation offers a unique opportunity for these organizations to make strategic investments aimed at both financial return and social impact.  The law in its design incentivizes pooling of resources: for an Opportunity Zone investment to receive tax benefits, it must be made through an Opportunity Fund, which is defined as a corporation or a partnership. (Limited liability corporations taxed as partnerships also qualify.)

Collective action to address systemic barriers to advancement is often discussed within these communities. With Opportunity Zones, incentives for collective action are actually built into and align with the legislation.

Cycling the Dollar

Along with collective investing, the Opportunity Zone program allows for cycling of investment dollars — the second set of regulations served to confirm this.

Imagine a scenario where an organization pools resources, in compliance with required securities laws, acquires properties and renovates them for sale to members of the community. Each home sale would help the homebuyer begin to accumulate assets that might even be passed on to the next generation.

At the same time, assuming a profitable transaction, the group selling the home could generate capital gains that could then be reinvested in an Opportunity Fund, which would then be utilized for additional investments not only in additional housing but also potentially into businesses of the neighborhood residents or other businesses interested in the reaping the benefits of being located in an Opportunity Zone. In keeping with the regulation, investments would need to be held for the required time periods to reap the full tax benefits of the law, but this strategy could be utilized to truly be transformative for these communities and the people who live there.

Cycling investment funds in this way has the potential to increase returns on various fronts: making money for the investment collective, expanding homeownership in low-income communities, strengthening neighborhood stability, and promoting intergenerational wealth transfer that can help to close the wealth gap.

Although the Opportunity Zones program will almost certainly lead to gentrification as property values increase in areas targeted for investment, it can also offer new paths to black economic empowerment. With innovative approaches, a solid understanding of the risks and rewards of Opportunity Zone investing, and careful attention to regulatory requirements for maximizing tax benefits, we can leverage the Opportunity Zone program to build wealth for black families and revitalize our communities.

Disclaimer: This is for general information and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice for any particular matter. It is not intended to and does not create any attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed and any legal positions asserted in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Miles & Stockbridge, its other lawyers or Black Enterprise.  


Money | Black Enterprise


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Annecy: Disney Reveals ‘Chip ‘n’ Dale’ Reboot, ‘Monsters at Work’ Details, and More

ANNECY, France — In a set of back-to-back sessions at this year’s Annecy Intl. Animation Festival, Disney announced a reboot of one of its classic animated series, shared updates on handful of others and reaffirmed its commitment to quality content creation in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The afternoon kicked off with a stand-alone Studio […]



ICYMI: Actually Cute Work Bags, Serena Williams’s Sartorial Clapback & Gucci Takes On Reproductive Rights

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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Where Do You Draw the Line Between Personal and Private at Work?

woman peeking through white blinds

I recently heard someone note that “you are the guardian of the difference between what is personal and private,” and I thought it made a great distinction — and might be an interesting discussion here. What do you consider personal — and what do you consider private? Where do you draw the line, and how do you deal if someone wants to share more with you than you’re comfortable with (or wants you to share more than you’re comfortable with)? 

We got into this many moons ago with our discussion of how to deal with nosy coworkers, which only served to illustrate how much variety there is in the answer to this question — there, the reader wrote in with a question because she was a new professor and worried to attend a faculty picnic, noting

Not to sound shallow, but I don’t want to field questions about my personal life (i.e dating, engaged, etc) because it is really no one’s business. But with children & spouses/so’s running around, I feel as though it is inevitable. Age, too, plays a factor. I am by far the youngest faculty member…

For my $ .02, personal is stuff that I may only reveal after you get to know me really well, not because it’s a secret so much as because it’s just something I hold a little closer to the chest. I may immediately volunteer that I have two sons, for example, but I won’t talk about them in any depth until I get to know you a bit better, at least depending on context and how relevant they are to whatever conversation we’re having. In fact, “reading the audience” plays a lot into what I divulge easily and what I don’t, particularly with regards to politics, religion, and certain aspects of mothering.

On the flip side, private to me is stuff that I do kind of guard — sure, family secrets and things that aren’t necessarily my story to tell — and also certain boundaries I keep even with close friends, like if my husband and I have had a disagreement I keep that private. 

So, for example, in the reader Q above, whether I was engaged would probably be something I would immediately volunteer easily, but whether I was dating anyone (or had recently split up with anyone) would be something I would keep more personal — but not private. What would be private to me would be something more like whether I wanted to marry the current person I was dating, or “what kind of person are you looking for” questions, or certainly questions about future kids/family plans. 

{related: how to keep your work life separate from your personal life}

But then, I’m a bit of a weirdo because I feel comfortable sharing a lot of things online (I think I stopped short at period details but that’s it), but I’ve never used my husband’s first name on either of the blogs. Office culture has definitely played a part in where the boundary lines are, as well — in my more female-dominated offices we were quick to talk about little aches and pains in a personal way — whereas in the male-dominated ones I would have considered those little aches and pains to be closer to private than personal. 

Readers, how about you — where do you draw the line between what’s personal and what’s private? Do you have different boundaries for different situations? (For those of you who have worked in several offices, how much has office culture had a factor in the boundaries  you’ve kept? ) Do you have easy comebacks for when people ask for too much (“ha, we’ll see!”) — and how do you deal when someone is oversharing? 


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CBS’s Scott Pelley Blasts Former Boss David Rhodes for ‘Hostile Work Environment’


CBS’ Scott Pelley publicly blasted his former bosses on Sunday—training most of his fire on ex-news division president David Rhodes, claiming Rhodes fired him as anchor of the CBS Evening News for complaining internally about a “hostile work environment” for male and female news division staffers.

In surprising remarks on CNN that ended  the relative Memorial Day Weekend calm for his current bosses, especially Rhodes’ successor Susan Zirinsky, Pelley told Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter:

•That Rhodes threatened his job over his “hostile work environment” complaints.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast Latest Articles

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Eating healthily at work matters

A new study has demonstrated that employees at a large urban hospital who purchased the least healthy food in its cafeteria were more likely to have an unhealthy diet outside of work, be overweight and/or obese, and have risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to employees who made healthier purchases.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily


Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale 2019 Picks for Work

Deal Alert: The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale just started! Some of our top picks for work are below, but a few broader notes for you:

The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale 2019: Workwear Suggestions

Dresses for Work in the NHYS 2019

Pictured above: $ 58-$ 76: blue / black / black with star neckline / pink

Pictured above: $ 82-$ 188: navy / blue / geo print / twofer dress


Blazers and Tops for Work in the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale 2019

Pictured above: $ 23-$ 35: olive / black / blue / black

Pictured above, $ 89-$ 179: plaid blazer / tweed jacket / lavender blouse / black blouse

Comfortable Shoes for Work in the NHYS

Pictured above, $ 88-$ 247: black / beige / pink / navy


Totes for Work in the 2019 Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale

Pictured above: $ 178-$ $ $ (you have to check out for the price because it’s a big savings): green / tan / black / burgundy



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Millennials Will Work Longer Than Their Parents If They Fail to Do This

How long do you plan to be in the workforce? Does retirement sound like a distant dream? How much money would you like to have tucked away for retirement? If you’re a millennial who has no idea how much money you need to retire and when you plan to leave the workforce, your retirement date may be later than expected.

According to research conducted by Aon, 2 in 3 workers will not have enough saved to retire comfortably by age 67. While many baby boomers and Gen Xers will be able to retire in their late 60s, most millennials won’t be prepared for retirement until age 70 or later.

Reports show that nearly 40% of young adults believe saving for retirement can wait. “Many millennials just starting out may struggle to balance paying down debts and saving money, especially for retirement,” said Julie Wilson, head of research for Navient, in a press release that shared the findings of the study of 3,000 millennials aged 22 to 35.


Instead of saving for retirement, millennials are prioritizing goals that bring instant gratification such as homeownership, paying down debt, building an emergency fund, and saving for a vacation.

All of these choices come with a cost—some more than others. If millennials continue to prolong their retirement strategy, they will be forced to stay in the workforce longer than their parents.

What’s the solution? A simple conversation. The grim retirement numbers alone won’t get millennials motivated about developing a strategy but a conversation with a friend, family member, financial coach, adviser, or retirement planner can be life-changing and put things into perspective.

The reluctance to talk about personal finances and retirement goals on a regular basis in the black community is putting us at risk of not being financially secure during retirement. Money can’t be a taboo topic anymore. It has to become the norm in order for us to reach the levels of financial independence we hope to achieve.

In order to adequately plan for retirement, you need to know how much you should contribute, the best way to allocate your retirement funds, and the best strategies to meet your desired lifestyle goals. Sitting down with a finance or retirement professional can bring some clarity to one of the most important decisions you have to make during your lifetime.

“The generic default of a 3% contribution rate for retirement, used by many employers, is woefully insufficient and ill-fitting for most American households,” reports Stephen Wendel, Morningstar’s head of Behavioral Science at the 2018 Morningstar Investment Conference. “The right answer isn’t a new default: it’s a personalized analysis of what each household needs. Americans pay the price for not having advice tailored for their needs.”

In Wendel’s article, he points out that financial planning, investing, and investing behavior can increase an individual’s retirement readiness. Morningstar researchers note that all of these tools are most effective when more than one is implemented at the same time. If you are looking for the perfect combination of actions to take, personalized financial advice is essential to your success.

Most importantly, start taking action now. Or you’ll have to pay for it later by working longer.

Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

Money | Black Enterprise


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Choose Classics When the Trends Don’t Work

V-necklines are prolific this season. They are all over tops, knitwear, dresses and jumpsuits. It’s high time fashion made a statement with them because they’ve been scarce at retail for years. I am THRILLED for those who enjoy wearing V-necks. They are visually fabulous on larger busts, shorter necks, shorter waists, broader shoulders and petites. No matter how often I see it, I’m regularly in awe at how magically a V-neckline can minimize the size of the bust and lengthen the neck.

The V-neckline trend might be great for you, but it’s not for me. I have the opposite of the body type that wears V-necks well: a regular bust, regular waist, narrow shoulders and a very long neck. My short hair makes my neck look even longer. The higher the neckline, the better it’s suited to my body type. I can wear a V-neckline when it’s a structured shirt collar with a few of the top buttons left open, because the collar adds coverage to my long neck and shoulder neck point, especially when I pop the collar.

As I’m refreshing my wardrobe for Spring and Summer, I’m rejecting all sorts of potentially fabulous on-trend tops and dresses because their V-necklines are deal-breakers (unless they are shirt collars). The V-neck trend is against me, so it’s on to plan B. Reverting back to classics.

I enjoy modern classics full stop. And many of their necklines work well with my body type. This season I’m back in classic silk and cotton blouses, body-con knit tops, and pullovers with polo collars — all of which I haven’t worn for ages as I favoured more trendy styles. I’m thoroughly enjoying my new classic tops because they’ve changed things up, and layer well under jackets in arctic air conditioning. The collection below shows the exact items I’ve bought to refresh my tops capsule with for Spring & Summer.

The fluid cotton and cashmere crew neck pullovers in the collection are classics I wear every season despite trends. These versions are shorter because that’s how fashion is at the moment. That trendy detail is fine because shorter tops work well with exposed high rises and skirts, both of which I wear and enjoy.

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The Best Vegan Shoes for Work

Since it’s now been a couple of years since we last shared some recommendations for non-leather shoes, it’s time for another roundup of the best vegan shoes for work. (Prior to that post, we also recommended six brands for the stylish vegan professional, for both clothing and accessories.) The brands below offer many casual styles, but they also provide office-appropriate options that include flats, pumps, oxfords, loafers, boots, and booties. What are your favorite vegan shoe and accessory brands? Are you able to buy them from mainstream sites/stores or do you have to get them from more specialized places? 

{related: the best cruelty-free beauty products}

Here are five brands that offer some of the best vegan shoes for work: 

BC Footwear

pictured above: one / two / three

Available at Nordstrom and Amazon, as well as, these shoes are cruelty-free and PETA-certified as vegan. In addition to not using leather for the main part of each shoe, the company also ensures that all components (linings, etc.) are not made from animal products — and that includes the glue, which is free from casein, gelatin, beeswax, etc. BC Footwear uses uses materials such as microfiber, bamboo, hemp, and high-grade polyurethane, and shoes in its Recycled collection (currently, only two styles are categorized that way) are made from scrap materials from production. The pictured shoes range from $ 79–$ 89.


pictured above: one / two / three

Sudo doesn’t have a lot of specific information on its website regarding its production, etc., but it does note that the shoes it makes are “all vegan.” A rep for the company told me that Sudo closed its Boston brick-and-mortar store last year — but it still sells its shoes online, and many styles are available. The pictured ones are $ 69–$ 96.


pictured above: one / two / three

Ahimsa shoes, which are also available at Amazon, are made in Brazil in the world’s only 100% vegan shoe factory, where almost all production is done by hand, and sustainability is a priority. The company’s vegan leather is made from polyurethane, and the website addresses the inherent environmental concerns on the vegan leather page. Ahimsa also makes a small selection of accessories. The pictured styles range from $ 85 (Amazon price) to $ 139.


pictured above: one / two / three, which we mentioned in our last post on vegan shoes, sells cruelty-free shoes and accessories from brands like Matt & Nat, Birkenstock, and Olsenhaus — but they also have their own brand, Novacas (which, translated literally, means “no cows” in Spanish). The shoes (and bags) are ethically produced in European factories and are designed as “updated styles of classic favorites.” The pictured styles range from $ 130–$ 140.


pictured above: one / two / three

Shoes from Veerah are cruelty-free and responsibly sourced (the sustainable materials used include apple peels, plastic bottles, and cork), and at least 1% of proceeds go to charity. Besides the shoes themselves, the brand sells unique, removable “accessories” for them, including fringe, ankle straps, and brooches. Depending on your office, they may not be work-appropriate, but they could work well as little desk-to-dinner additions. Veerah’s shoes are pricier than the brands above, and the pictured styles range from $ 268–$ 288.

What have you found to be the best vegan shoes for work? What shoe materials do you choose to avoid leather?

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5.14.19 Bike to work week; Alexa spying on kids; Travel bookings are lagging

It’s national Bike to work week. And electric bike sales are surging; Alexa is spying on your and your kids if you have an Echo device in your home; Travel bookings are lagging and that can often be a predictor of a possible recession.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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U.S. says Huawei lawyer’s prior work at Justice Department poses conflicts

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd lawyer James Cole’s prior work at the U.S. Department of Justice created conflicts of interest that should disqualify him from defending the Chinese company in a case of alleged bank fraud and sanctions violations, U.S. prosecutors said in a filing on Friday.

Reuters: Technology News


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UPDATE 3-U.S. says Huawei lawyer’s prior work at Justice Department poses conflicts

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
lawyer James Cole’s prior work at the U.S. Department of Justice
created conflicts of interest that should disqualify him from
defending the Chinese company in a case of alleged bank fraud
and sanctions violations, U.S. prosecutors said in a filing on

Reuters: Company News


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5.8.19 New insane debt collection rules; Paypal & Venmo scams proliferate; One state is making it easier to work

The CFPB has proposed new debt collection rules that are really, really bad for consumers; Watch out when using Paypal and Venmo because scammers are finding more ways to get access to your money via those apps; Arizona is making it easier for folks that move there to find work without government overreach. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Watch the video

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How Many Work Hours Per Week Make You the Most Productive?

stock photo of a punch clock with a man holding a time card

Readers, how many work hours per week make you the most productive? Do you find that your productivity taps out if you push yourself to work longer hours, or just that there is an adjustment period as you get used to that kind of schedule? In general, do you roll your eyes at people who boast about working crazy hours or, say, billing 3,000 hours per year? 

We recently noticed a tweet by astrophysicist Dr. Katherine J. Mack (a.k.a. @AstroKatie) regarding studies about working long hours:

There’s tons of research out there that shows that on average, productivity drops dramatically when people are overworked. For most people, after ~40 hours, you’re not doing good work…

This topic has also been in the news recently, as various men have boasted of working long hours. For example, Business Insider pondered the “996” workweek espoused by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma (996: 72 working hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week). Similarly, Elon Musk is known for working long hours, recently arguing “[t]here are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”  

Indeed, in the much-discussed recent NYT article, “Women Did Everything Right — Then Work Got Greedy,” they note that the expectation of long hours is relatively new:

It’s only in the last two decades that salaried employees have earned more by working long hours. Four decades ago, people who worked at least 50 hours a week were paid 15 percent less, on an hourly basis, than those who worked traditional full-time schedules. By 2000, though, the wage penalty for overwork became a premium. Today, people who work 50 hours or more earn up to 8 percent more an hour than similar people working 35 to 49 hours, according to a sociology paper using Current Population Survey data by Youngjoo Cha at Indiana University, Kim Weeden at Cornell and Mauricio Bucca at the European University Institute.

The article goes on to explore how this expectation of longer hours is changing the parenting dynamic when two parents have otherwise equal earning potential — leading to one of them to opt out so the other can work the long hours. (Guess which one!? This was part of our discussion at CorporetteMoms last week on how your partner supports your career, and vice versa…) 

Of course, not everyone agrees that longer hours are a great idea… The Harvard Business Review recently wondered “If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week?”, describing an office culture with long hours as akin to “brainwashing,” and noting: 

Long hours are most common in managerial and professional occupations. This is something of a recent trend. In the old days, if you were a white-collar worker, the deal was that you worked as hard as you could at the start of your career to earn the right to be rewarded later on, with security of tenure and a series of increasingly senior positions. In professional organizations, such as law firms, accountancy firms, management consultancies, and investment banks, the prize was partnership. The competition was relentless, but once you won the prize, it was yours for keeps. Partners had autonomy to choose how and when to work and what to work on. Of course, some senior partners spent a surprising amount of their “business development time” on the golf course, but that was OK because they had already paid their dues to the organization.

This is no longer true. As a director of HR in a leading accounting firm told me, “The head of audit is in the office regularly from 5:30 AM until 10 PM, on weekends, too. So is our managing partner. This is not exceptional. The rest of the firm sees the senior people working these hours and emulates them.

So here are the questions: How many hours are you expected to work per week — and does it make a difference in your productivity if you are working more or fewer hours? Do you struggle with the classic billable hour problem of needing to work, say, 60 hours just to bill 40? (This gets into our discussion from a few weeks ago on whether you prefer to stay late or work from home, as well as our previous discussions regarding expectations that you’ll answer emails when you’re home.) How many hours per week are most productive for you — and when you’re pushed beyond that, how do you cope or recover? (In a related note, readers had a fascinating conversation a little while ago about anxiety hangovers and how to recover.) 


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The Hunt: The Best Dresses for Work

collage of dresses for work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Pictured at top: one / two / three / four / five

It’s hard to beat the classic sheath dress for work — it’s a blank slate that you can dress up for an important work event with a blazer and sleek heels, but also dress down with a cardigan and a funky flat or a sandal. What I look for in a great sheath dress for work these days includes:

  • thick enough straps or sleeves that there is no chance of bra straps showing through — look for lingerie snaps inside dresses to keep your bra in place, or ask your tailor to add them if you have a problem with falling bra straps
  • a work-appropriate length that isn’t too trendy — usually within an inch of your kneecap 
  • a fit that is tailored and polished but not “bodycon” — no one wants to work long hours in skintight clothing!
  • pockets, which can be great (because, well, pockets!) but often add a lot of bulk and detract from the sleekness (I still almost always want pockets, but that’s me.)
  • sleeves, which can also be a double-edged sword — sleeveless styles will inevitably layer better underneath cardigans and blazers. That said, sleeveless looks are not appropriate for every office — so know your office culture if you plan on wearing a sleeveless dress by itself.

Finally, note that on some sheath dresses you may have to rip your vents for the skirt — if there’s a little X sewn into the bottom of the vent, that probably isn’t supposed to be there. Readers, what are you looking for in a sheath dress these days — what makes the best dress for work in 2019 in your eyes? Which styles and brands do you wear the most?

Curious for past roundups of sheath dresses? Here they are from 2018, 201720162015201420132012, and 2011. For other sizing issues, you may want to check out our roundup of bespoke dresses, which you can order to fit exactly to your measurements.

There were so many good ones this time that I thought instead of focusing on just a few random dresses, it might be fun to look at the general offerings at each store. (Don’t miss our Hall of Fame listings above, though, for a bunch of other styles that have been around for ages!) So here are some of our picks from the usual suspects for the best dresses for work…

The Best Dresses for Work at Ann Taylor

collage of the best classic sheath dresses from Ann Taylor

Pictured above: one / two / three

All of these dresses come in regular, petite, and tall sizes, all of them are machine washable, and all are available up to size 18. They’re $ 129-$ 149 (but keep an eye out for 40-50% off sales!) at Ann Taylor. Personally, my top pick would be the first dress — I like that the back is totally covered and it’s seasonless stretch (unlike dress #3), but I think the neckline is a bit more versatile than #2.

The Best Dresses for Work at MM. LaFleur

collage of MMLF dresses for work

Pictured above: one / two / three

MMLF keeps putting out classic dresses that are reliable for work. (I heard recently that their sizing changed recently — what say you, ladies? A friend was complaining about having to return size 6s for 4s due to vanity sizing.) #2 has always been our pick for a Hall of Famer in the past — nice high V, totally covered neckline, machine washable, and available in a ton of colors — all for $ 145. #1 looks very similar to me but has a slightly wider V-neck and a slightly straighter skirt — and it’s available up to size 3X, which is great. Alas, this one is dry clean only, and sells for $ 240. #3 is one of the classic MMLF styles, and — huzzah! — it’s got pockets. It’s $ 195, comes in a zillion colors up to size 3X, and is machine washable.

The Best Dresses for Work at J.Crew

collage of J.Crew dresses for work

Pictured above: one / two / three

By my count, the newest dress to the dress party at J.Crew is the first one pictured above, made of a bi-stretch cotton and with some nice serious darts down the front. It’s available up to size 24 (as well as petites and tall sizes), and comes in five colors, some of which have a matching cropped blazer. The second and third dresses have been around for ages and are definitely classics at this point! They are all priced $ 148-$ 188 full price, but keep an eye out for 30-50% off sales. 

The Best Dresses for Work at Boden

collage of dresses for work from Boden

Pictured above: one / two / three

Boden, as always, has a ton of cute dresses for work — and so many of them have sleeves and pockets, huzzah! The first one above is a nice take on the scallop trend (and comes in a ton of colors), whereas #2 and #3 are both classic styles at Boden and have pockets; #2 is machine washable. All three are under $ 150 at Boden.

A Few Other Dresses For Work…

collage of different dresses from Nordstrom

Pictured above: one / two / three

Obviously, we couldn’t include every dress for work that’s getting good reviews right now — but here are a few additional mentions. The first one pictured above first came on my radar last year at last July’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and has been going strong since, getting tons of great reviews in all its various colors. It’s definitely more of a statement than the other dresses we’re featuring here. The second one above is a bestselling style at Eloquii that Nordstrom now carries as well; Nordstrom has several colors, as does Eloquii. Finally, #3 is the most expensive one we’re featuring today — it’s $ 445, from BOSS. I always think of this sleeveless dress as being the “basic BOSS sheath,” but I keep coming back to the one pictured above — the sleeves and the slight A-line shape make it feel really fresh to me. 

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

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What I Wear to Work: Chris, Digital Marketing Executive

Heads up: Buying via our links may result in us getting a commission. Here’s why.

Welcome to “What I Wear to Work.” A series on, you guessed it, who wears what to work. Would you like to be featured? See the bottom of this post for instructions. Chris Ferris is the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Pierpont Communications, the largest PR and Marketing firm in Houston, TX. Even though the standard dress code for most who work in digital seems to be jeans and untucked shirts, Chris tries to wear a jacket or suit and tie to work. Why? Because he likes it, and it also differentiates him from the competition. Doesn’t mean his look has to be straight laced and stuffy though. See below for proof.

What I Wear to Work: Chris, Digital Marketing Executive |

The Suit: Lands’ End Tailored Fit Stretch Chino Suit and Pants – $ 149.37 when 40% off. Just got this suit (thanks for the tip, Dappered!) and I love it. It fits beautifully and I only had to have the sleeves and pants shortened. It’s really an ideal suit to wear in the spring and summer. And it stays so hot it Houston in the fall that I can get a good 6 months of wear out of this suit.

The Tie: The Tie Bar Navy Ad Stripe Tie – $ 19. Because I wear a tie every day, I have a lot of ties. I shop almost exclusively at The Tie Bar because they have fantastic variety and great prices. And the ties look sharp.

The Tie Bar: The Tie Bar Platinum Silver Shot Tie Bar 1 inch – $ 15. Wearing a tie? Use a tie bar. Sets my look apart even a little more without being too over the top. I have this bar in matte navy as well.

The Shirt: Nordstrom Trim Fit Microgrid Dress Shirt – $ 59.90 ($ 89.50). Elegant, simple white dress shirt with a very subtle pattern that makes it a little more interesting than a plain white dress shirt.

The Watch: Certus Classic Silver Dial Date Watch – $ 71.25. I don’t see my exact watch online anymore (the one linked to here ships in… 1-3 MONTHS?) but there are similar makes on Amazon. Not too pricey, but looks timeless and goes with just about any work outfit.

The Belt: Trafalgar Men’s Leather Dress Belt – $ 68. Simple burgundy belt that, like the watch, can really be worn with anything I might wear to work.

The Shoes: Cole Haan Jefferson Wholecut Leather Oxfords – $ 129.99 ($ 300). Just got these and they look fantastic (although I’m still breaking them in).

The Underwear: UNIQLO Airism Collection – Prices VaryI only wear AIRism. Houston can get pretty hot and muggy and this underwear does the job.

The Socks: Banana Republic – $ 14.50. I usually wear Banana Republic socks but they don’t seem to make tan or caramel colored socks any longer. Match those socks to your trousers, no?

A huge thank you to Chris for sending in his what he wears to work, and YES, you bet he got the Pierpont logo in his outfit pic not once but twice. The man is a pro. Head over to LinkedIn to discuss this with your coworkers or follow Dappered if you want to see these in your feed. If you want to take this for a spin, send an email to with who you are, what you do, and what you’d like to submit. To be featured, we’ll need a picture of you at work, as well as the details on what you’re wearing/usually wear on the job. Final image will have to be cropped down to 1500×840 pixels, so, keep that in mind when shooting. Landscape mode please, and let’s keep anything from the chin up out of it. Note that sending an email with your picks and a pic doesn’t guarantee publishing. Be yourself! And get your employer’s permission if you’re gonna get specific with your place of work.

Dappered Style Mail


Mixed Originals Show – new work at artrepublic Brighton

Before our fifth annual Art Yard Sale closes the Brighton Fringe Festival on 2nd June 2019, artrepublic are hosting a showcase of work, throughout May, featuring the artists taking part. Every artist will be presenting an original specifically for our showcase. Expect to see the likes of Dan Hillier, Maria Rivans, Bonnie and Clyde, Joe Webb, Eddy Bennett, RYCA and Evan Roberts and many more leading UK contemporary artists. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bag an original from a beloved artist.

Mixed Originals Show at artrepublic

Our Art Yard Sale is a huge success every year and whether you can or can’t make this year’s event, take a look in our gallery for a preview of new work by artists featured on the day. We love to celebrate the new in the art scene, so every year there is something different to see. The showcase kicks off with a Private View on 2nd May, where artists will be available for questions and feedback on their work on the night and you can gain unique insight into their inspirations and processes.

We love the accessibility the Art Yard Sale creates around the artists and their work, giving the art the chance to speak for itself and the artists the opportunity to speak for themselves. From illustration, to print, to painting and even graffiti and sculpture we offer an edited selection of the UK’s best contemporary art. Whether you’re in Brighton for the Fringe Festival or a local, this is a showcase of creative talent not to be missed.

Join us at our Brighton gallery throughout May to preview this year’s Art Yard Sale and register for free tickets to our exclusive Private View evening on 2nd May.

See you there!


For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page

The post Mixed Originals Show – new work at artrepublic Brighton appeared first on artrepublic blog.

artrepublic blog


Trump prepares to fight back against investigations as Congress returns to work

President Donald Trump always ignores the rules — it’s the secret of his political success. – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Backpacks for Work

backpacks-for-work2019 Update: We’ve updated links and choices in this roundup of backpacks for work! 

Are there any backpacks that are stylish and large enough to hold file folders, binders and more on your commute from work? Backpacks are super trendy right now, but all of the really stylish bags are far too small for file folders or work papers. I was just at an event where I saw a young lawyer carrying a large, stylish backpack and my first thought was, good for her — whether she’s biking to work, walking to work, or just watching out for back problems down the line, it’s a smart move.  Coincidentally, I also recently got a question from Reader B, who wants to start walking to work and carrying large files — so I thought we’d go on a mini-Hunt. Here’s B’s question:

I’m looking to start walking to work more as I recently bought a home which sits about a mile away from my office. However, I’m an attorney and am often carrying case files and other paperwork back and forth. Tote bags, no matter what the straps are like, begin to hurt my shoulders on this. I know a backpack would solve the problem but as a relatively young professional, I’m afraid to look like I can’t let go of my college backpack days. Is it ever acceptable to wear a backpack to the office

Interesting question, B — I’ve written before of my love of walking to work, but I’ll admit that for any real file carrying I took cabs and client-paid cars to and from the office.  A few notes on tote bags, just at the outset: first, note that a leather bag is going to be far, far heavier than a nylon tote for work — and that I always found a single shoulder strap to be more comfortable for a long schlep. (You may also want to check out our advice on how to lighten your load.) Still, if you’re already feeling pain, there are a ton of backpacks right now that distribute the weight better across your back — I’ve rounded up a few of my top picks below, ranging from $ 29-$ 550.  Readers, would you consider wearing a backpack to work? Have you bought any backpacks for work lately that you love — and what qualities make one more or less professional and stylish in your mind?

eagle-backpack This one is very “I’m off to backpack through the woods for 3 days” but I’m including it because it’s totally packable — it compresses down to a tiny pocket.  If you sometimes need to carry stuff home — and sometimes don’t — this bag would be the one I’d pick to keep at the office, or throw in my regular tote bag. Plus, it’s only $ 30. (This Herschel Supply Co. bag is very similar, also $ 30, and higher rated — I’m just not a fan of the big logo on the front.) Pictured: Eagle Creek Packable Daypack
convertible-backpackThis bag has a very briefcasey look to it — but I like that it converts from a briefcase into a backpack, and has a travel sleeve to help it stay on top of rolling bags. It’s on a huge discount right now, too — it was $ 165 but is now marked to $ 39 at Amazon. (This bag looks a bit nicer for $ 99, but it’s almost entirely sold out at Zappos.)  Coolbell(TM)15.6 inch Multi-function Convertible Laptop Messenger Computer Bag Single-shoulder Backpack Briefcase Oxford Cloth Waterproof Multi-Compartment For iPad Pro Macbook Men And Women(Black)
Fjällräven 'Kånken No. 2' Water Resistant BackpackThis one I almost didn’t include because it looks a bit like it was intended for Swedish schoolchildren, which it was. Still: it’s very hip right now, is water resistant, looks large enough to be functional, could be carried as a satchel, and is only $ 130. It comes in a zillion rainbow colors, but the black on black one is my favorite. Fjällräven ‘Kånken No. 2’ Water Resistant Backpack
knomo-laptop-backpack This sleek laptop bag looks great, and it’s one of the few that’s got some style but still at an affordable price point — it’s $ 179 at Zappos.  (Also in this price range: this Victorinox backpack.) KNOMO London Beauchamp Laptop Backpack 
convertible-diaper-bag-petunia This may be an odd suggestion, but it’s one of the only convertible bags I’ve seen that looks big enough for files, and converts nicely into a shoulder bag. Sure, it’s technically a diaper bag — but just ditch the diaper changing pad and wipes container.  It’s $ 189 at Zappos. (This Botkier bag is almost twice as much but also looks good as a shoulder bag/backpack combo.) (2019 Update: Unfortunately this exact bag has sold out, but convertible backpack diaper bags are reliable options if you’re looking for a BIG bag that’s vaguely stylish.)
mz-wallace-backpack This MZ Wallace bag looks a bit more fashion-y, but you pay for that — it’s $ 385 at Nordstrom. Also, at 12″W x 14″H x 5″D, I might worry it would be on the small side for papers and binders and the like. Here are some similarly more fashionable options, but maybe on the small side for papers: this Rebecca Minkoff bag and this Botkier bag.) MZ Wallace ‘Marlena’ Bedford Nylon Backpack
bendel-backpackWe’ve featured Bendel’s Jetsetter backpack before, and this Gramercy Convertible Backpack is another one to consider — it’s super stylish and looks great as a satchel, but also converts to a backpack and a crossbody. At 11.5″H X 15.5″W X 5.5″D, it should be big enough for letter-sized papers as well. It’s $ 450 at Bendel’s. Gramercy Convertible Backpack (2019 Update: Alas, Bendel’s has shuttered. This bag looks similar.)
tumi-olivia-backpack-2 If you’re ready and willing to commit to the backpack lifestyle, the Tumi backpacks all look sleek — and I loooove that they look just as good while carried as a satchel.  The Olivia style is pictured here (it’s $ 495), but do check out this style also, which is a bit deeper and a full pound lighter — but just as sophisticated. Also in this price range: these minimalist Building Block backpacks. Pictured: Tumi ‘Sinclair – Olivia’ Convertible Backpack

Ladies, do you wear backpacks on your commute? Which are your favorites? 

Please note: This post was originally published in September 2016, but we’ve updated links in April 2019 and so we’ve updated the date accordingly.


Backpack For Work

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Kit Harington Reveals Which ‘Game Of Thrones’ Costars He’d Love To Work With Again | PeopleTV


SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Signs His Work Will Always Come First

workaholic husband

Source: MesquitaFMS / Getty

There’s nothing wrong with an ambitious partner. In fact, ambition is one of the things I find most attractive in a man and is a requirement, in fact, for me, in a partner. I equate ambition with passion so a man without ambition is also a man without passion and that is nobody I want to be near. But, to be ambitious only serves us to a certain point. We have to remember that the entire reason we are ambitious is so we can acquire a level of stability so that, from there, we can enjoy the things that really matter like family and relationships. Some men get so caught up in the means to the end that they don’t pause to appreciate the end when they get there. What I mean is that some men don’t even enjoy things like love and family once they have it, and you don’t really want to spend your life with someone like that. Here are early signs his work will always come first.


He’s often absent-minded

You have to ask him often if he’s listening. He wasn’t. He “Had a lot on his mind” so you have to repeat yourself. You can’t usually get his attention in a conversation without asking him, multiple times, if he’s okay or if he’s listening. His work consumes his mind.



Do You Prefer to Stay Late at the Office — or Work From Home?

a woman in a red hoodie works in a dark office at a computer

Here’s an interesting little question for you: When do you stay late at work, and when do you choose to leave and work from home instead? How much of it is driven by office culture, by the kind of work in front of you (e.g., voluminous docs), or by a specific situation at work or at home (pet needs to get walked, kids won’t leave you in peace to work), and how much of it is just preference?

I’ve always preferred to stay late at work when possible, and I’ve written over at CorporetteMoms about how even now I struggle with the fact that family dinnertime bumps up against my naturally productive time. Even in my magazine journalism days, I was often the last one at work; the only reason I got paid at all at my first magazine internship in NYC was because I was working late and the publisher happened to notice I was still there. I also have distinct memories, when I was out of school and employed at Family Circle, of using the office typewriter (!) to type law school applications when the rest of the office was dark and quiet around me. Looking back, that probably wasn’t the smartest thing from a safety perspective, but at the time it felt totally safe.

{related: comfortable workwear for late nights}

At my BigLaw office, there was absolutely a culture where we were encouraged to stay late — frequent meetings at 5:00 p.m., or phone calls from the partner(s) or senior associates at 6:00 or 7:00 — but I suspect that because of my preference and availability I maybe got more of those calls and teammates than others. (Let’s also just say I was not a “show up at 7:00 a.m.” kind of employee, either.) I distinctly remember another associate my age and year who had kids in daycare and a wife who was a doctor — he was very vocal and clear to everyone about having firm deadlines to leave the office. That said, at the time and place I was practicing, there were often voluminous documents we had to go through and reference, sometimes corralled into binders, sometimes in boxes, and sometimes via proprietary software we had to use on site — so the work also lent itself to being physically in the office to do it. When I brought work home it was usually focused editing work for memos or briefs, and when I did work from home it tended to be in the wee hours of the morning, like 3:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. (presumably after getting three or four hours of sleep after coming home late the night before).

{related: 5 tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter}

When I switched to my nonprofit, the culture was very different — everyone had some modicum of work-life balance, with commitments with friends and family, sometimes even making plans to meet when it was still light outside. Whoa. So “staying late” changed from “staying until you’re about to pass out at your desk but need to go home to shower and get a REM cycle anyway” became “staying until 7:00 unless something drastic and crazy is happening.” 

Readers, how about you — what is your preference when it comes to staying late at work, or coming into the office on the weekend or early in the morning? How has your preference changed through different jobs, offices, and general life position (e.g., 20s, 30s)? (Do you recognize a “naturally productive time”?)

{related: what clothes are too casual for a weekend in the office}

Stock photo via Stencil.

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The Hunt: Stylish Skin Tone Pumps for Work

collage of skin-tone pumps for work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Ah, springtime — as we all get ready to pull out our spring-y whites and pastels, it’s time for our annual roundup of nude heels for work. I’m pleased to report that the selection of stylish skin tone pumps in 2019 is vastly improved from what it was even five years ago — there are a TON of brands really focusing on offering skin tone shoes for everyone, including Target, Naturalizer, Louboutin, Rebecca Allen, Nubian Skin, and House No. 3028. Of course, it should be noted, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a shade that doesn’t match your skin tone if you just happen to like the particular shade. Readers, what are your thoughts — are you on the hunt for stylish skin tone pumps for work right now, or do you have a favorite from previous years? (Does anyone have thoughts on pantyhose and skin tone pumps?)

Target’s line, A New Day, offers an impressive six shades of nude — huzzah! (Other brands that are focusing on offering a wide range of skin tones include Naturalizer, Louboutin, Rebecca Allen, and Nubian Skin.) The pictured shoes are the color “Cocoa” and are $ 29.99, available in regular and wide widths sizes 5-12. 

I love the little details here — particularly the asymmetric cap toe, which adds not only a dose of style but also makes me think the shoe might last a bit longer. I also love the cone heel, which feels a bit avant-garde — and a low heel never hurts. (We’ve rounded up other low heels in the bulleted list at top; there’s also this lovely d’Orsay option from Sole Society for $ 60.) The pictured shoe is on sale for $ 70.

Not only is Banana Republic offering a TON of skin tone shades this season, they’re also promising 18 hours of comfort. Nice! (Shades offered include deep brown suede, chestnut brown suede, biscotti suede, beige leather, and cool beige patent.) It’s great to see that they come in slightly extended sizes (5-12), and, being Banana Republic, there’s sure to be a 40% or 50% off sale soon. The shoe is $ 118 full price. 

Know your office before trying the transparent trend! It is no longer just a budget option and can be found in the splurge end of shoes — so if you work in a creative, casual office, this shoe might be appropriate. But again, know your office before trying this 4″ heel from Schutz, on sale at Nordstrom for $ 116. They also have a neon option that’s kind of awesome, as well as a lower version of the beige/transparent pump. 

Boden always has darling shoes, and these are no different if this shade of pinky beige is calling your name. I like the racing stripe detail on the heel of the shoe, and I always like a little bit of a strap. These are $ 180-$ 190 and come in other colors, including a very happy yellow.

I don’t think we’ve yet discussed MM.LaFleur’s new line of shoes — what say you, ladies? I know some people were disappointed that the shoes came at such a high price point (these pumps are $ 365), but that feels right to me — in line with Stuart Weitzman, Sarah Jane Parker, and Cole Haan prices, yet lower than Sarah Flint and other designer-y options like Choo and Manolo. 

Some other fun ones we found, pictured at the very top and here:

top row: dark brown / pointy-toed pink block heel / beige pointy-toed stiletto / pink Mary Jane heels
row two: round-toe block heel / pointy-toe mocha block heel
row three: caramel stiletto / beige stilettos / caramel block heel / transparent stiletto

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments! Curious about older editions of this roundup? Check them out here: 2018, 201720162015201420132011201120092008 (awww, just a few weeks after the blog was born).

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

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Ariana Grande: Healing is hard work

OHMYGOSSIP — Ariana Grande says “healing is hard work”.
The 25-year-old singer was struck by tragedy last year when her former boyfriend Mac Miller passed away from an accidental overdose in September, and she split from her then-fiancé Pete Davidson a month later in October, and despite her best efforts to move on from the heartbreak, she’s now told her followers on social media that it’s been tough.
Posting on her Instagram story, the ‘Monopoly’ singer wrote: “healing is hard work. accept da ups and downs. be gentle with yourself and surround yourself with gentle energy. you’re not alone. (sic)”
Hours before her confession, Ariana had thanked her fans for always being there for her in a series of posts to her story.
The ‘7 Rings’ hitmaker wrote: “U make everything better. thank you for your energy. truly. I love y’all, so much. u have no idea how much y’all help me / how happy u make me. sharing a state / this life with y’all is so beautiful. thank u so much for being here. and for reminding me why i am too! (sic)”
Meanwhile, the beauty recently spoke out about her mental health, saying the first few years of her career – which was kickstarted after she played Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon series ‘Victorious’ and its spin-off show ‘Sam & Cat’ – were “really hard” on her.
She said: “Just saying. Thanks for being supportive of my random, impulsive and excessive music releases.
“The first few years of this were really hard on my mental health and energy.
“I was so tired from promo trips and was always losing my voice and never knew what city I was in when I woke up.
“It was so much. It was worth it and i am grateful for everything i learned and accomplished when I did things that way, of course.
“But I just feel so much more connected now and yeah… If I feel like I’m able to make special things with my incredible friends quickly, why not share them right away?
“It’s a very dope feeling and has breathed so much air back into my lil lungs. (sic)”

Find us also on Twitter @OHMYGOSSIP and @OHMYGOSSIP_USA


CBD is getting buzz, but does it work? And is it legal?

US regulators exploring ways CBD could be used legally in foods and dietary supplements
ABC News: Health

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

The Hunt: Shrugs for Work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

If there is one thing the readers have agreed on over the years, it’s shrugs. YOU GUYS LOVE ‘EM! When I post a shrug, we get tons of comments saying, “WOW, that is so chic!” and “Whoa, it’s definitely on trend and not at all frumpy grandma style.” But you know, we always tend to post simple shrugs from workwear brands, like this one from Boss, or this one from Theory, or this other one from Theory, or any of these from Talbots, or this one from Elie Tahari, or this super pretty one from Max Mara, or even this $ 34 one from Eliza J. (Cropped cardigans we might have posted — but definitely not because SNOOZEFEST! — include these from Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Lovers + Friends, and Modcloth.)

But like I said, we always post these boring looks from business brands. What about the woman who is more daring with her business attire and wants to be remembered as the fashionable one in the office? Glamour, darling, glamour! Well, this roundup is for you. I think these all would look great when worn over a classic black sheath or a chic jumpsuit for work, but for those of you who are into mixing prints and fabrics, go for it! 

This ruffled lace shrug is only $ 29.97 and has a fun bedroom vibe to it. Accessorize with vampy red lips and, of course, a sensible padfolio. Only lucky sizes are left, so act fast if you like it.


Some people say sequins are not for work, and to those people I say, what next? No lace? No shimmery fabrics? Nothing see-through? Get real, people, and live a little! This shrug kind of stretches my understanding of the definition of a shrug, given that it looks like it’s pull-on but in fact zips up the back, so I’m … shrugging a bit. At the shrug. (See what I did there?) It’s $ 188 (down from $ 376) at Farfetch.


Some brides-to-be bemoan the fact that you can only wear bridal accessories once or twice — and that may be true for some of those mumsy white lace numbers. However, I think this feathered shrug from BHLDN crosses the line handily into “desk to dinner” territory — your colleagues will surely think of you as a determined, graceful bird, swooping in to take action. You know, birds are descended from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs were known for being super powerful, so it’s like you’re harnessing dino power. DYNO dino power. The shrug is $ 300 at BHLDN, available in rose (and ivory, for you traditionalists!) and made from ethically sourced ostrich feathers. Looking for something a bit higher end with even more dino power? Try this feathered bolero.

Here I am again, shrugging at a shrug, but only because this one doesn’t seem to have sleeves, so it aligns a bit more with my understanding of “wraps.” No matter! I’m quite sure the designers at MM6 Maison Margiela know what they’re doing in naming it a shrug, so let’s go with it! I like that this one offers you matching pants if you want a full tone-on-tone look, which is obviously very professional and stylish. The “shrug” itself is brilliant — think of how your face will be glowing with all that silver shining up at you! I also like that they added padding, because I mean really, without that it would just look like an emergency blanket, and what’s stylish about that, amirite? This shrug is $ 405.72 (on sale from $ 704!) at Italist

I like the Victorian vibes to this cape-like sheath. Chic, and talk about versatile — it will go with all of your black clothes! It’s $ 1,012 — 20% off, so snap it up.

Readers, which is your favorite shrug from today’s roundup? Have you taken any big fashion risks lately?shrugs for work

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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Hemingway center opens in Cuba to preserve writer’s work

A restoration center to preserve the work of Ernest Hemingway opened in Cuba on Saturday, highlighting an area of cooperation with the United States even as bilateral ties between the old Cold War foes have chilled again.

Reuters: Arts


Save anywhere from 35-55% off combined admission prices with the Explorer Pass from Smart Destinations!

CMS Ignores Federal Judge Ruling To Approve Medicaid Work Rules in Utah

Less than 48 hours after a federal judge struck down Medicaid work requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday gave Utah permission to use those mandates.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in her approval letter that requiring Medicaid enrollees to work was allowed because it helps make them healthier.

“Therefore we believe an objective of the Medicaid program, in addition to paying for services, is to advance the health and wellness needs of its beneficiaries, and that it is appropriate for the state to structure its demonstration project in a manner that prioritizes meeting those needs,” she wrote.

Verma’s stance runs directly counter to U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, who in twin rulings Wednesday said work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky are illegal under the 1965 Medicaid law. Boasberg said several times that promoting health was not the objective of Medicaid, despite that opinion from Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

In his Kentucky ruling, Boasberg wrote that using health as an objective would be “arbitrary and capricious.”

Promoting health, he added, is “far afield of the basic purpose of Medicaid: ‘reimbursing certain costs of medical treatment for needy persons.’”

Verma noted that Utah is structuring its program somewhat differently than other states.

Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the Trump administration is “doubling down” by allowing a state to add work requirements.

“This is such a remarkable example of sticking a finger in the eye of the court,” Rosenbaum said. “We will see what happens. Because when you disrespect a court, it can backfire.”

CMS’ approval also allows Utah to cap enrollment if the state runs out of money.

Health experts said Utah’s letter clearly shows that the Trump administration plans to appeal Boasberg’s decision.

In addition to Kentucky, Arkansas and Utah, CMA has approved Medicaid work requirements in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Verma’s approval was for an application that Utah made in 2018. It will partly expand Medicaid to cover all adults under the poverty level ($ 12,490 for an individual this year). Enrollees will be asked to make some job searches but they will not be required to report a certain number of hours of work.

In November, Utah voters approved a ballot measure calling for the expansion to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $ 17,200) as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

State officials expect about 90,000 people to gain coverage under the expansion approved Friday. About 150,000 people would have been covered under the plan approved by voters.

The plan approved Friday will require Utah to pay a bigger portion of the costs for the new enrollees because they will enter Medicaid under the traditional program and the state will get a 70 percent contribution from the federal government to cover their care. If the state had expanded to 138 percent of poverty, the federal government would have paid 90 percent of the costs.

November’s vote raised concerns among state officials, who have opposed Medicaid expansion for years. They have opted instead to prepare another request to CMS that seeks the full 90 percent funding for the new enrollees. But to secure that, Utah is offering to accept unprecedented annual limits on federal and state spending.

Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said getting a federal judge to accept the premise that Medicaid is improving health is vital to getting work requirements through the courts. Federal officials “need a judge to buy that,” Hoffman said. “They are going to fish for a different jurisdiction to push this opinion.”

What’s most compelling about the Utah approval, Hoffman said, is how the state legislature ignored the will of voters who approved the referendum. “The legislature is blocking what people voted for … and it appears to be an anti-democratic move.”

Kaiser Health News


Federal Judge Again Blocks Medicaid Work Requirements

For a second time in nine months, the same federal judge has struck down the Trump administration’s plan to force some Medicaid recipients to work to maintain benefits.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg blocks Kentucky from implementing the work requirements and Arkansas from continuing is program. More than 18,000 Arkansas enrollees have lost Medicaid coverage since the state began the mandate last summer.

Boasberg said that the approval of work requirements by the Department of Health and Human Services “is arbitrary and capricious because it did not address … how the project would implicate the ‘core’ objective of Medicaid: the provision of medical coverage to the needy.”

The decision could have repercussions nationally. The Trump administration has approved a total of eight states for work requirements, and seven more states are pending.

Still, health experts say it’s likely the decision won’t stop the administration or conservative states from moving forward. Many predict the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, has threatened to scrap the Medicaid expansion unless his state is allowed to proceed with the new rules, a move that would drop more than 400,000 new enrollees. He said the work requirement will help move some adults off the program so the state has enough money to help other enrollees.

Bevin, who is running for re-election this fall, had threatened to end the Medicaid expansion during his last campaign but backed off that pledge after his victory.

Kentucky had been slated to begin its work requirement next Monday, but current provisions will instead stay in place, according to Adam Meier, who heads up the state’s Medicaid program. He said officials there believe they have “an excellent record for appeal and are currently considering next steps.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was disappointed with the decision. He added that he would read review the opinion overnight and announce Thursday how the state would respond.

In his decision on Kentucky, Boasberg criticized HHS officials for approving the state’s second effort to institute work requirements partly because Bevin threatened to end the Medicaid expansion without it.

Under this reasoning, he said, states could threaten to end their expansion or do away with Medicaid “if the Secretary does not approve whatever waiver of whatever Medicaid requirements they wish to obtain. The Secretary could then always approve those waivers, no matter how few people remain on Medicaid thereafter because any waiver would be coverage promoting compared to a world in which the state offers no coverage at all.”

In a statement, Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare &  Medicaid Services, suggested the rulings would not dissuade her efforts to approve work requirements in other states. The administration wants “to give states greater flexibility to help low income Americans rise out of poverty,” she said and will “vigorously support their innovative, state-driven efforts to develop and test reforms that will advance the objectives of the Medicaid program.”

The decision by federal officials in 2018 to link work or other activities such as schooling or caregiving to eligibility for benefits is a historic change for Medicaid, which is designed to provide safety-net care for low-income individuals.

Top Trump administration officials have promoted work requirements, saying they incentivize beneficiaries to lead healthier lives. Democrats and advocates for the poor decry the effort as a way to curtail enrollment in the state-federal health insurance entitlement program that covers 72 million Americans.

Despite the full-court press by conservatives, most Medicaid enrollees already work, are seeking work or go to school or care for a loved one, studies show.

Critics of the work policy hailed the latest ruling, which many expected since Boasberg last June stopped Kentucky from moving ahead with an earlier plan for work requirements. The judge then also blasted HHS Secretary Alex Azar for failing to adequately consider the effects the policy.

“This is a historic decision and a major victory for Medicaid beneficiaries,” said Joan Alker, executive director for the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. “The message to other states considering work requirements is clear — they are not compatible with the objectives of the Medicaid program.”

Sally Pipes, president of the conservative San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, called the ruling “a major blow” to the Trump administration but said this won’t end its efforts. “The Department of Health and Human Services is very committed to work requirements under Medicaid,” she said.

“It is my feeling that those who are on Medicaid who are capable of working should be required to work, volunteer, or take classes to help them become qualified to work,” Pipes said. “Then there will be more funding available for those who truly need the program and less pressure on state budgets.”

Several states, including Virginia and Kentucky, have used the prospect of work rules to build support among conservatives to support Medicaid expansion, which was one of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. That expansion has added more than 15 million adults to the program since 2014.

Previously the program mainly covered children, parents and the disabled.

Particularly irksome to advocates for the poor: Some states, including Alabama, which didn’t expand Medicaid, are seeking work requirements in the traditional Medicaid program for parents with incomes as low as $ 4,000 a year.

The legal battle centers on two issues — whether the requirements are permissible under the Medicaid program and whether the administration overstepped its authority on allowing states to test new ways of operating the program.

Alker said that state requests for Medicare waivers in the past have involved experiments that would expand coverage or make the program more efficient. The work requirements mark the first time a waiver explicitly let states reduce the number of people covered by the program.

States such as Kentucky have predicted its new work requirement would lead to tens of thousands of enrollees losing Medicaid benefits, though states argued some of them would get coverage from new jobs.

Under the work requirements — which vary among the states in terms of what age groups are exempt and how many hours are needed — enrollees generally have to prove they have a job, go to school or are volunteers. There are exceptions for people who are ill or taking care of a family member.

In Arkansas, thousands of adults failed to tell the state their work status for three consecutive months, which led to disenrollment. For the first several months last year, Arkansas allowed Medicaid recipients to report their work hours only online. Advocates for the poor said the state’s website was confusing to navigate, particularly for people with limited computer skills.

While the administration said it wanted to test the work requirements, none of the states that have been cleared to begin have a plan to track whether enrollees find jobs or improve their health — the key goals of the program, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.

Craig Wilson, director of health policy at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, a nonpartisan health research group, said he believes policymakers will appeal court rulings all the way to the Supreme Court.

“As long as they hold on to hope that some judge will rule in their favor, states will continue to pursue work requirements,” he said.

Kaiser Health News


How To Keep Learning at Work: Tell Us Your Favorite Conferences, Networking Groups and Resources!

stock photo of a filled conference room watching a presentation

Here’s a kind of odd career question for you: what are your best tips for how to keep learning at work and in your career — and what are the best resources you’ve found that fulfill requirements, keep you educated, and maybe go above and beyond, such as providing networking opportunities? This is going to be very career/job specific, so in comments please note what you’ve found that’s really excellent…

For my $ .02, in my prior job as a media lawyer I had attended a lot (and compiled/presented a fair amount) of in-house CLEs that my firm put on for lawyers at the firm and clients of the firm; I was also pretty involved with a yearly Practicing Law Institute tome on prior restraints, so I often attended the conferences around the presentation of those books. There are exceptions to everything, but a lot of those CLEs and mass conferences that I attended were… not good. Lots of droning by presenters… lots of audience members checked out and not even giving 25% of their attention. Then I got the opportunity to go to some other continuing legal education things and was wowed by the difference… (For my $ .02, which is worth even less because I have a long history of working with/for the organization, but still: if you’re interested in media law, the absolute best general conference to attend (and get a ton of CLEs) is the biennial Virginia conference run by the Media Law Resource Center. Great content, really engaged presenters and audience, great opportunities for networking.)

In my current job as a professional blogger, I’m still struggling to find “the best” conference that affords opportunities to network as well as brings me up to date on the things that I need to know. I’ve written before about taking classes like Marie Forleo’s B-School and Elite Blog Academy and recommend those to other newbie bloggers/digital entrepreneurs; I’ve gone to RewardStyle conferences in the past as well, as well as a ton of Fashion 2.0 events back in the day. I’ve looked into but haven’t pulled the trigger on things like Ali Brown’s Iconic conference or things like that; I’d love to find a mastermind group but ultimately know what I need to do and just need to find the time to do it.

Over to you, readers — what are the best resources you’ve found to keep learning in your career? What conferences and networking groups offer the best of the best educational and networking opportunities for you in your chosen career? 

Stock photo via Stencil.

The post How To Keep Learning at Work: Tell Us Your Favorite Conferences, Networking Groups and Resources! appeared first on


The Importance of Meditation: How to Stay Calm at Work

Having one of those days when you’re buried in paperwork while your boss piles on a list of unrealistic demands and a difficult co-worker manages to get on your very last nerve? If so, then it may be time for you to step away from your desk and take some time to meditate.

We’ve all had tough days like this while working on the clock. However, we don’t always deal with the stress of challenging situations and people at work in a healthy way. That’s why Black Enterprise invited entrepreneur, wellness expert, and author Quentin Vennie to stop by our office in New York City to share advice on how and why we must meditate.

Stay Calm at Work

Vennie explained why it’s imperative for everyone, especially working professionals, to give themselves a mental break and practice mindfulness.

“So often throughout the day we’re faced with so much adversity, so many things, so much stress, [and] we’re trying to multitask,” he said. “Sometimes I think it’s important to just take yourself outside of that. Focus your attention on one thing and move forward from that point.”

In a nutshell, here is why Vennie says mindfulness is crucial for success:

  • We are what we think
  • You can’t be faithful and fearful at the same time
  • Focus on what you want to accomplish
  • Gratitude is the best mechanism to defeat depression

Vennie also talked about using meditation as a tool to overcome affliction. Watch the full interview below.


Overcoming It All

Vennie, who says meditation has personally helped him overcome drug addiction and severe depression, was also recognized as a 2017 BE Modern Man of Distinction, where he shared his story. Here’s an excerpt:

I was born and raised in a single-parent household on the west side of Baltimore. My father was a heroin addict, and by the time I was 12 I had been shot at and spent more time visiting prisons than most of the people I was close to. Despite spending a lot of time in my old neighborhood in West Baltimore, I went to predominantly white schools in the suburbs of Baltimore County. I experienced racism, discrimination, prejudice, you name it. I was diagnosed with acute anxiety and mild depression when I was 14, and then diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety and panic disorder, and mild to severe major depressive disorder, at 26. I endured a two-year addiction to my anxiety medication, survived an accidental overdose and two failed suicide attempts, but was fortunate to discover a wellness system that saved my life (yoga, meditation, and fruit/vegetable juicing). Not only did it help me get off all medications, but it also made my anxiety and depression easier to manage.


I started telling my story of my battles with anxiety, depression, and addiction in 2012 when I first started my journey into sobriety, and on May 30th of this year, my first book, Strong in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Addiction and Redemption Through Wellness was published in the U.S. and Canada, and published in Australia and the U.K. on July 1st. I was able to successfully turn my trial into a triumph that has positively impacted people worldwide.

Now, it’s time for you to meditate with us! Follow along with this 14-minute meditation session guided by Quentin below.

The post The Importance of Meditation: How to Stay Calm at Work appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Fitbit’s new trackers are cheap and work well, but they’re super basic

CNBC reviews the new Fitbit Inspire HR and Versa Lite, two affordable health trackers that work well but are very basic.
Health and Science


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


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James Comey says a subpoena may not work for Mueller report

Comey said that he did not know if Democrats could obtain an unredacted copy of the Mueller report with a subpoena if the Department of Justice declined to release it.
Top News & Analysis


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Where to Recycle, Donate, and Sell Your Work Clothes

Where to Recycle, Donate, and Sell Your Work Clothes

If you made a New Year’s resolution to clean out your closet, found inspiration by watching Marie Kondo’s new Netflix series, or were motivated by our recent post on how to know when to throw out workwear, today’s advice on where to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes is for you. We’ve previously talked about the pros and cons of thrifting for workwear, asked how often you declutter your wardrobe, and discussed decluttering in general. (By the way, to do your part to avoid buying fast fashion, or at least limit your purchases, see our Slow Fashion Shopping Guide.) 

Here’s our guide to where to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes: 

Where to Recycle Clothing

  • As we recently noted, this post on refashionNYC and this piece on clothing recycling in North Carolina can give you a good idea of what to Google to find a similar clothing recycling program in your area.
  • H&M: Stores accept clothing from any brand in any condition in exchange for a coupon. 
  • Levi’s: You can recycle jeans at any store and get 20% off one item. 
  • Blue Jeans Go GreenDenim is upcycled into UltraTouchTM Denim Insulation. Donate your jeans at Madewell, J.Crew, or Rag & Bone and get a discount on a new pair — or mail them in.

Where to Donate Clothing

Here are some options beyond the usual suspects like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Vietnam Veterans of America

  • Dress for Success: Check with your local affiliate for its guidelines for what sorts of workwear items it will accept.
  • Soma: Donated bras are given to women in local domestic violence shelters and women who are homeless.
  • DSW: The company partners with Soles4Souls and Be Strong and will add 50 points to your VIP account when you donate shoes.
  • Contact homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, refugee assistance groups, and places of worship in your city and ask what they need.

Where Not to Donate Clothing

  • Savers: If you want to make sure your clothing is donated to a nonprofit or directly to people in need, avoid this “for-profit professional fundraiser” that accepts clothing donations “on behalf of” local nonprofits. (Value Village and Unique are also part of the Savers “family.”) Unsold clothing is recycled or sold to resellers in developing countries, which harms domestic garment and textile industries
  • Planet AidYou may have seen one of their big yellow collection bins — there are 19,000 of them — but you may want to think twice about using one. The nonprofit is said to have ties to an alleged cult and has been criticized for being less than honest about its selling practices.

Where to Sell Clothing

Here are the basic details for some popular places to sell your clothes online. I’ve had some luck with eBay over the years but no success yet with Poshmark or Facebook groups. Readers, how about you? 

  • eBay: You can list up to 50 items per month for free, and you’ll pay a “final value fee.” Here’s an example from my own experience: eBay charged me $ 2.05 for a shirt I sold for $ 13.49. You decide the shipping method and what to charge the buyer for shipping (if anything — I’m experimenting with free shipping right now).
  • PoshmarkIf you want something simpler, try a site like Poshmark. Listing items is free upfront, and you receive a free pre-paid shipping label. Sellers hand over 20% for listing prices over $ 15, and below that, you’ll give up $ 2.95.
  • The RealReal: Consign luxury brands by mailing or dropping off your items or by having them picked up (depending on your location). TRR’s staff will price and list your things, and you’ll earn up to 85% of the sale price. Example: consignors who sell items with original resale list prices of $ 146–$ 195 receive 50%.
  • thredUP: Another option that doesn’t require you to list items yourself is thredUP. When you order a Clean Out Kit, you can choose to donate your clothing or get cash/credit. ThredUp only takes about 40% of the items on average, and they’ll recycle the rest (or return them to you for $ 10.99). If something sells, you’ll get 5%–90% of the listing price.
  • Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace/Facebook groups: Your experiences will differ dramatically based on your location, the groups you post in, and the individual buyers. Here are some tips for Craigslist and Facebook.

What are your recommendations for where to recycle, sell, and donate your work clothes? Have you used any of the sites above? How often do you go through your closet to downsize your wardrobe, and do you find it easy to decide to get rid of things you no longer wear … or not? 

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / AntonMatyukha.Where to Recycle, Donate, and Sell Your Work Clothes

Looking to get rid of some old work clothes? These are our top tips on where to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes, including options that count as charitable donations, get you coupons in exchange for recycling clothes, and which places to avoid.

The post Where to Recycle, Donate, and Sell Your Work Clothes appeared first on


Work Smarter, Not Harder: How Contractors Should Capture Homeowner Data to Optimize Marketing Techniques

In 2019, the same old approach to home improvement lead generation is not going to cut it.

That’s nothing new — and yet research shows contractors do not utilize digital and online information or capabilities to further their business interests. Think about the amount of time we’re all on social media – less than one percent of home improvement contractors are using social media to reach potential clients! That’s a huge missed opportunity in today’s digital marketing environment.

Meet your 2019 key performance indicators (KPIs) and exceed them with an intentional approach. One of the easiest—and fastest—ways to assess the current state of your business is processing some data that you already have.

Data analytics measure your online presence and determine which parts of your business are currently and potentially most profitable. Online programs such as Google Analytics measure and report on the following aspects of your websites:

  • Total site visits for a given period (day, week, month, etc.)
  • Individual page visits
  • Where visitors come from geographically
  • How your site visitors came to your page — which links they used to get to you, or an online derivative of referrals

At Modernize, for example, we use the thousands of surveys homeowners submit to us to learn more about homeowner needs and challenges in the home improvement space — whether for solar, roofing, HVAC, windows, or other projects. Learn more about our most recent findings in the latest Homeowner Survey Index: Q1 2019

Repeat Successful Contractor Behaviors for Successful Outcomes

What are your best-performing channels? What types of projects led to the most repeat business? How are you using referral data to create new leads and create an ongoing funnel of new work?

These are some basic questions to get you started on finding out what works for your business and what doesn’t. Some contractors repeat past behavior without the data to back it up, relying instead on memory or top-line information — like product brand and time of project — to assess current tactics.

That’s not enough. Supplement your unique marketing strategy with an additional online presence and increased storytelling in the form of blogs and social media posts. You’re also going to need to keep track of the feedback you receive from homeowners. Within your CRM or Lead Management Tool, you should always add a lead status pick list to show where homeowners live within your sales funnel, and how the lead ended up closing out in the end. For example: Completed Project, Budget, Timing, Not a homeowner, Credit Reject, etc. By religiously updating your lead source, lead status, and close dispositions, you’ll be able to make informed marketing decisions over time, discard leads that will never convert,  and create drip campaigns for the ones that have the potential to eventually convert. The more detailed information you can capture, the more you can make intelligent business decisions about where and how to invest your outreach, marketing, and lead generation budgets.

Whether you restart an old lead generation campaign that didn’t work out in the past or amp up your social media creativity, this is the year to start taking chances for the sake of growing your company. Just don’t take silly risks, take informed ones.

Keep An Eye on the State of the Home Improvement Market

While your own data is important, new business means new data — if you want to generate leads, you know to get to know clients you haven’t worked with yet.

For example, you should know and base your tactics on the fact that between 40 and 60 percent of homeowners conduct most of their research online before taking on a home improvement project — depending on which trade is involved, from solar paneling to roofing.

The term online is a vast and broad one, and we can get more specific because Modernize data provides perspective from thousands of homeowner surveys — it’s one way we stand out in the value we can offer you.

Here are the online resources homeowners find “the most helpful” with planning their project:

  • 54%: Google
  • 17%: Home improvement websites (like Modernize)
  • 14%: Social media
  • 8%: Youtube
  • 7%: Email Newsletters

It’s this type of information that you can compare to your own past work to come up with a data-driven and intentional strategy in the year ahead. Many contractors use Modernize for assistance in devising and building just such a strategy. Find out today how Modernize can help do the same for you.

Other Lead Generation Tips to Help You Meet Your KPIs in 2019

Modernize provides a vast array of resources for contractors to achieve their objectives and learn about the homeowners they want to work with.

Take a look at our blogs, case studies, infographics, videos, and more to learn something new today. For now, here some quick hits to take away and use while you build an analytics-based strategy for the coming year.

  • 78% of prospects convert with the first party that makes contact.
  • 80% of leads do not close on the first call.
  • 40% of leads eventually convert with long-term follow-up.
  • 50% of leads only get one call.
  • Calling a prospect twice as opposed to once increases the chance of making contact by 87%.

The best days to contact a lead are, in order:

    1. Thursday
    2. Tuesday
    3. Wednesday

And the best hours to contact a lead are, in order:

    1. 4 to 5 p.m.
    2. 2 to 3 p.m.
    3. 8 to 9 a.m.
    4. 3 to 4 p.m.
    5. 9 to 10 a.m.

Whether it’s starting your online efforts from scratch or diving into your decades of experience to discern trends and help you sharpen your client base, learn more about us today and find out how we can help you.

Ready to grow your business?

The post Work Smarter, Not Harder: How Contractors Should Capture Homeowner Data to Optimize Marketing Techniques appeared first on Modernize.



Prince Harry took his puppy to work and it was the cutest


prince harry
Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Just before they announced that they are expecting their first child, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed that they had welcomed a new puppy to their family. The couple already shares Meghan’s Toronto-born Beagle, Guy, but decided to get another pet pooch late last year, and it was reportedly known as the Kensington Palace Labrador until sources claimed that its name is Oz.

However, Meghan and Harry haven’t confirmed the dog’s breed or name, with Harry revealing during a trip to Sussex last year: ‘No one’s even seen our dog!’

Meghan added: ‘I know, and they keep getting her name wrong!’

While the pup hasn’t been spotted out and about in public before, when Harry decided to go to work with a puppy this week it had the whole world wondering if they’d caught the first ever glimpse of their second dog.

The Duke of Sussex was in Birmingham to unveil a new memorial to remember the lives lost during two terrorist attacks in Tunisia that took place in 2015.

Harry arrived in the Midlands via helicopter, and one royal fan captured footage of the dad-to-be alighting the chopper with a puppy in tow. However, considering that he was on official royal duty, the dog wasn’t seen with Harry during the day and was reportedly kept with staff while he was working.

In a video shared on Twitter, the dog can be seen running about – although it hasn’t been confirmed that it’s Meghan and Harry’s puppy, Twitter believes that it’s the very same.

It was initially thought to be Guy, however one user pointed out that Meghan’s Beagle looks a lot older, writing: ‘It’s not guy. Guy is older now. That’s a young dog. I believe it’s a spaniel of some sort – maybe a springer or working cocker from the way it’s running.’

Many think that as it’s not a black Lab as previously reported, that it may not belong to the couple – however, considering they haven’t confirmed any details about their newest pup it could well be.

All we can say is – more pup pics, please.

The post Prince Harry took his puppy to work and it was the cutest appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


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Zillow makes a big bet on flipping homes. New CEO could ‘make this gamble work’: RBC’s Mahaney

"[Rich Barton has] a huge track record" and his return to be the CEO "took the stock up," RBC's Mark Mahaney says. But the internet analyst is still skeptical.
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The Hunt: The Best Pants for Work

the best pants for work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Here’s a question we haven’t talked about in far too long: what do you think are the best pants for work? Which ones are your favorites for comfort — for fit — for travel? There are actually a ton of great options right now — almost all of the ones below are washable, available at least up to size 18, and many are available in petite, tall, and plus sizes as well. Which are your favorite work pants? Do tell…

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best pants for work - budget - Old Navy Pixie

If you’re hunting for one that’s under $ 50, there are a ton of great options, but they are very different. Readers love the comfort of J.Crew Factory’s drapey pull-on (usually around $ 35 with the sale of the day), while Everlane’s work pant ($ 50) has a nice, crisp, hold-you-in feeling to the fabric. Still, if you’re looking for a ton of options in color and fabric sizes, readers swear by the Old Navy Pixie pants, pictured above — they’re around $ 35 and come in regular, tall, and petite sizes up to size 20; they’re also available in plus sizes.

best pants for work - J.Crew

Another good option that’s often on sale: J.Crew’s Cameron pant, which readers recently noted was a good option for pears (and have pockets). They’re available at Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter as well as J.Crew, although note that J.Crew has a ton more options and come in sizes up to 24, as well as petite and tall sizes. The pictured ones are a washable option good for four seasons!

best pants for work - NYDJ knit pants

For just a bit more money puts you in the range of the NYDJ Stretch Knit Trousers, which are my personal favorite for a mix of comfort and polish — I feel more formal with the zipper (unlike some of the pull-on options on this list) and I feel like they wash and wear really well. I also like the thickness of the pants. They’re currently $ 78-$ 119; note that they’re almost always on sale in the big Nordstrom sales. A few other great options around this price point: Brass’s ponte pants are $ 98 (I’ve heard rave reviews but haven’t tried myself), as well as Nic+Zoe’s Wonderstretch pants (some options as low as $ 102, but mostly around $ 148).

best pants for work - Eileen Fisher

We’ve sung the praises of the pants the readers call “magic pants” before — they’ve noted that they’re “as comfortable as pajama pants,” “like slim cigarette pants that never wrinkle,” and “can be washed in a sink.” They come in plus and petite sizes, and a ton of colors — I personally haven’t seen anything but lucky sizes on sale but that’s me. They’re $ 168 new at Nordstrom, Dillards, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.

best pants for work - suit separates

If washability isn’t high on your list of needs — or if you’re more looking for suiting separates that have great pants — Boss and Theory are the brands to beat. Boss’s slightly bootcut trousers get the highest ratings and are around $ 248, while Theory’s Good Wool trousers still get plenty of shoutouts. Fun fact: the Good Wool line is ” is spun from sustainably-farmed Australian wool milled at an environmentally-friendly factory” — and I was surprised to notice that Theory now goes up to a size 16.

Readers, how about you — which do you think are the best pants for work? Which are your favorite styles to wear to work — drapey, slim knit, cropped, or bootcut/voluminous trousers? 

On the hunt for the best pants for work? We rounded up a TON of great options, from everything from the under-$  50 budget picks for work outfits to the stylish, sleek, super professional suit separates (trousers and ankle pants!) that also make your booty look great. We've rounded up the best washable pants for work, the comfiest pants for work, and the best mix of comfort, style, and easy care. Did we include your favorites?

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Was Nijinsky’s Diary the Work of a Madman or a Genius?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

The most infamous succès de scandale in the history of the ballet is, of course, the Ballet Russes’ 1913 production of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The production, particularly Stravinsky’s muscular, modernist score, caused a near riot in the audience—sophisticated or not, ballet fans weren’t ready to have their envelopes pushed quite so far.

The choreographer for The Rite of Spring’s debut was in his early twenties and better known as a peerless dancer. Vaslav Nijinsky, a Pole whom most people assumed was Russian, was a diffident man who was much teased, and, away from the stage, thought completely unremarkable. On stage, however, he was to dance what Hendrix was to the guitar and Rembrandt was to painting.

Today, it can be hard to understand why people got so worked up over a ballet highlighting a pagan interlude in which a young maiden sacrifices herself by dancing until she dies. But ballet a century ago was a more genteel affair. It is a little easier, though, to see the difficulties Nijinsky encountered a year before the Rite of Spring explosion when he choreographed and danced the principal role in a ballet set Debussy’s The Afternoon of a Faun, in which he mimed masturbation with a scarf.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Advocating for social issues at work more likely to succeed linking morality and mission, study says

When convincing management to consider advocating for a particular social issue, employees may think it is wise to focus on the benefits to the bottom line but making a moral argument may be a better strategy, as long as it aligns with the company’s values, according to research.
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Amazon-led health venture hires technology chief to work under Gawande

Serkan Kutan announced his new role on LinkedIn, describing the CTO role for the still-unnamed health initiative as a "dream job."
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16 Things Black People Say or Do That Annoy White People at Work (And In General)

We published a list of things that white people should never say to their black co-workers. Now, Risha Grant, a public relations professional and diversity and inclusion expert, asked white people on her Facebook feed, to list the things that black people say or may do that annoy them.

Here are 16 of the top annoyances (mild and otherwise) that white people said they felt about black people mostly in the workplace, but also in general (these are posted verbatim from Risha Grant’s Facebook feed):

When you want to be friends with them at work but there are other black girls so you just can’t get close cuz ur just the white girl who is held at arms length. You get the feeling that they don’t believe you wanna be their friend. They think we are too different.

…there have been times that conversation with a Black person somehow turns to the topic of inequality…I have no way of truly knowing all the privilege that I enjoy as a white, straight male. I just know there are times, I’d like to learn more and the door closes.

…any time a black person walks into a room — say a new employee in an office — they make a beeline to the other black faces. It can be disappointing because I may know from advance notification about your hiring that you and I have a lot in common, but I have to work harder to be your friend.

On social media, a lot of my activist black friends will post complaints about “white people say …” “white people think…” “white people do …” And I always feel like saying, “Not ALL white people!”


 more common amongst my black friends than any other group. I don’t like it when black people bring up my ‘white privilege’ for the reason they aren’t as well off as they THINK I am

I feel uncomfortable joining amazing organizations if prefaced with ‘black’. Like black nurses association. These are amamazazazing colleagues I want to network with but….I’m not black.

…have noticed a lot of times when I expect the black friend of mine to follow through or follow up on a conversation, weather [sic] it be to contact someone in business or to get back with me with some information it doesn’t always happen. So I would say for me it’s follow through or follow up when conversations are made about moving forward with something.

when I was working with children it seemed more common for black adults to come down on a child for crying or having emotions (particularly when little boys and young men cried, telling them to “Man up.”)

I can say that in my traditional classrooms over the years I’ve had more black kids that seem to go right to fighting on the playground- not a lot of build up, just straight to throwing punches

“The victim.” The ones that make any non black race feel like a dog for what their ancestors may or may not have done during the periods of slavery, and act like the current period non black races owe them something for it. 

Speaking as if they are uneducated. not accents but refusing to speak correctly.

…it seems like African Americans never use a crosswalk. Even if it’s right in front of them, they will go out of their way NOT to cross at the light. Is there something there or am I imagining things?

Poor grammar

It really irritates me that y’all can dance so much better than me! (No one who witnessed it has EVER forgotten your valiant attempt to teach me the Wobble!)

…please don’t assume all white people support Trump. Because we don’t.

A white person has to walk on eggshells with caveats to keep overly sensitive people from being offended — that seems to be one thing that black people do—get offended to easily.

In an article for about her controversial Facebook question, Grant wrote that it took “almost two days to manage the 206 comments, shares, direct messages, and personal texts I received.” She went on to say, “Exercise that muscle to help you understand that regardless of how you identify, we are all a part of the human race. Once we understand that, we will better understand each other; and with that comes grace, respect, and total acceptance.”






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